Skin Texture: How to Smooth Things Out
How Different Skin Types Affect Skin Texture
All individuals can be categorized as having one of four common skin types, based on the level of sebum produced by the oil glands. Usually people will have either oily, normal, dry, or a hybrid combination. Their names are fairly self-explanatory, with the exception of hybrid or combination skin. Hybrid skin types usually have oily skin around the t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and dry or normal skin in the remaining areas of the body. No matter what type of skin you have, you produce dead skin cells throughout the day. These dead cells may build up over time resulting in a rough texture and dull appearance. Your skin type (level of oiliness) can determine if you will have a more difficult time controlling the texture of your skin. Oily skin produces an excess of sebum resulting in an oily skin appearance. The abundance of oil can increase the odds of acne due to pores being clogged more frequently. It also gives dead skin cells the ability to stick together and become lodged in the pore. If people with oily skin types do not exfoliate properly then these dead skin cells and clogged pores can cause breakouts leaving skin texture bumpy and flawed.
Dry skin is genetically determined but can be can be aggravated by environmental conditions, medications, age and lack of hydration. Lack of sufficient oil can reduce the skin's barrier function which affects hydration levels. Dryness encourage flakes of dead skin to persist, reducing light reflection and giving a dull or uneven appearance.
Normal skin types can still experience breakouts, thickening, and dry skin at times. Whether it be a result of hereditary traits or too much sunlight, uneven skin texture can occur regardless of skin type. Paying close attention to how your skin looks and feels can get you on the right track to soft, smooth and radiant skin.
What Healthy Skin Should Look Like
There are certain ways that your skin should look and feel for it to be considered healthy. Soft, smooth and firm is the ideal. The consistency of your skin texture is a key element for signifying healthy skin. Rough patches may indicate some form of irritation or condition such as eczema. Thickened areas may be due sun damage. Active acne creates bumps.
Healthy skin is usually well hydrated. If you and your skin are well hydrated, the amount of dead skin cells that are shed will be manageable. An increase in dead skin cells that persist on your skin will lead to a higher chance of clogged pores and acne breakouts. It can also lead to other skin problems such as flaky and scaly skin.
Normal sensations are also something to pay attention to and can easily signal if your skin is healthy or not. Having no signs of unusual and uncomfortable skin sensations such as itching, burning, or throbbing, is the result of healthy skin.
Why Your Skin Feels Rough
Your skin can feel rough and rigid for a number of reasons: acne breakouts, skin conditions like eczema, poor nutrition, sun damage, or a lack of hydration.
Hormonal changes such as pregnancies, menopause, and periods can affect the way your skin feels. Estrogen stimulates skin-smoothing collagen and beneficial oils. When estrogen levels drop, those oil and collagen levels decline producing itchy and dry skin. Low estrogen and collagen levels will reduce your skin's ability to stay moisturized.
The size of your pores can also contribute to rough and bumpy skin. Your pore size is a genetic characteristic and you cannot change that. If you have larger pore sizes, chances are you are also prone to getting blackheads more often. Potential factors that contribute to enlarged skin pores include excessive sebum, decreased elasticity around pores, and increased hair follicle volume. Once dead skin cells and bacteria become trapped in a pore a blackhead or whitehead can be the end result.
The way you shower and cleanse your skin is another contributing factor to rough skin. While a hot shower after a long day may feel fabulous, water that is too hot can strip your skin of natural oils and skin cells that would otherwise help maintain moisture. Fragranced soaps and deodorants can have a similar effect on your skin and deprive your skin of essential water-retaining nutrients.
How to Smooth Your Skin
Working your way to smooth, glowing skin may take some time. The best thing for your skin is consistency and persistence. Selecting the right treatments and taking proper precautions will bring a significant improvement.
Your diet and exercise habits play a large factor in how smooth your skin is. Exercising regularly can reduce body-wide inflammation and regulate hormones that prevent and repair free-radical damage. Working out allows more blood to reach the skin's surface giving it proper nutrients that aid in the restoration of damaged cells. A healthy diet and exercise routine will allow you to feel more stress-free which will reduce the cortisol levels your body produces and can prevent breakouts, ensuring you have the smoothest skin possible.
Protecting your skin and setting up a consistent routine are among the easiest ways to ensure smooth, glowing skin. Choosing to leave your skin unprotected day after day of being exposed to UV rays, pollution, and dirt can leave your skin rigid, scaly, and flaky. Always remember to cleanse, moisturize, take short warm showers and avoid fragrances in your skin products,